The $2 trillion dollar stimulus package signed by President Trump is the first attempt by the government to slow the economic downturn caused by COVID-19. The stimulus, the largest in U.S. history, provides relief for individuals, families, and several businesses.
Here’s what you need to know.
Stimulus Package Basics
Individuals and Families
Individuals with gross income up to $75,000 will receive a $1,200 payment. Married couples with gross income of $150,000 will receive $2,400 and an additional $500 for each child.
The package begins to phase people out past these thresholds. Single filers with income greater than $99,000, head-of-household filers with one child earning more than $146,500, and joint filers earning more than $198,000 with no children will not receive any payment.
Unemployed individuals will receive an additional $600 per week on top of their state unemployment benefits.
This addition is only available for 4 months.
Hospitals receive $100 billion in grants to aid them in the fight against COVID-19 and to make up for lost profit from focusing more on the virus than other surgeries.
They will also get a 20% increase in Medicare for helping infected patients.
Airlines will receive $58 billion — half in grants and half in loans and loan guarantees. They are also temporarily reprieved from paying three major taxes.
However, there are some conditions that must be met for funding to remain available — airlines cannot use the money to buy stock back and there are limits on executive pay. Half of the money is intended to pay for employees of the airlines and the other half is meant for passenger airlines, repair, and ticketing.
Businesses will receive a tax credit for keeping workers on their payroll. They will also be refunded half of what they spend on wages to each worker up to $5000.
Self-employed individuals and employers can defer the 6.2% Social Security tax and pay over the next two years.
State and Local Government
The package will provide $150 billion to state and local governments. $8 billion is intended for local governments who are losing tax revenue given the economic shutdown.
A payment of $10.5 billion is heading to the Department of Defense — $1.5 billion is intended for the National Guard who are deploying troops to help states fight the virus and an additional $415 million is intended for further vaccine research and development.
A $200 million payment is intended to develop better teleconferencing health checkups and healthcare.
Almost $24 billion is set aside to help secure the farming industry.
A payment of $25 billion — $16 billion for SNAP and $9 billion for child nutrition.
Real Estate, Title Insurance, & Escrow
No direct payments were included in the stimulus package for the real estate industry. However, the Fed’s response to the virus was to slash interest rates at the beginning of March which further decreased mortgage rates.
Illinois saw a huge increase in mortgage applications in early March. The industry as a whole, including title insurance and escrow agents, have remained essential during the stay-at-home orders across the United States. Although some operations have been taken online, your real estate professionals will be available to answer any questions.
A $30 billion payment is intended for school districts, public schools, colleges, and universities.
Who isn’t included?
The cruise industry received no aid, although President Trump has suggested some relief for them in the second round of relief. Additionally, the bill did not include any payments to the oil sector, so the U.S. government can stockpile oil. Many college students and low-income earners who do not pay taxes will not be included as well.
For further information on the COVID-19 stimulus package and its impact, get in touch with one of the title and escrow specialists at Plymouth Title Guaranty Corporation.
Please note: The safety of our staff and clients is our highest priority. Effective immediately, Plymouth Title Guaranty Corp. will be taking the following precautions to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus:
All purchase transactions need to take place at a Plymouth Title Guaranty Corp. closing office
- If a party to the closing is not feeling well, please contact your closer prior to the closing so appropriate precautions can be taken;
- We ask visitors to utilize the restroom in our building upon arrival to thoroughly wash hands before entering our office;
- Only individuals required to sign and/or deliver documents at closings will be allowed in our office. Specifically, closings will be limited to borrower(s), seller(s), agents, and lenders;
- All pens used in the closing will be given to the client after use;
- All closing rooms will be cleaned and disinfected in-between each closing;
- Those picking up checks at our office will be instructed to call our main line and request to speak to a staff member who will make arrangements for delivery to the lobby or parking lot of our office; and
- All staff will refrain from shaking hands before or after closings and ask clients do the same
Please be advised that our staffing may be impacted during this unprecedented event. While we are committed to continuing to provide outstanding service, we ask for your patience in the face of this pandemic.
This is a fluid situation and we will continue to adjust our protocols as necessary while following the CDC guidelines.